Owning an Etsy shop has become a popular way to sell everything from thrifted, vintage handbags, to one-of-a-kind art pieces, and everything in between. But because Etsy started off as a marketplace for crafty people to present their wares, much like an online farmer’s market, it still has the atmosphere of being more of a hobby playground, and less of a viable business model. Nothing could be farther from the truth if you know a few effective marketing tips. Here are 15 easy ways to make your Etsy shop successful.
Focus on Great Photos
Etsy is a very visual marketplace. When you take photos of your products, you need two things: beautiful photography, and for your brand personality to shine through. Don’t limit yourself to an all-white background unless that ties in to your brand design.
SEO Counts on Etsy, Too
If you want your shop to get traffic from as many avenues as possible, you can’t ignore search engine optimization. Good SEO can help you grab traffic from Google searches, and can also help you rank better with Etsy’s internal search feature.
Network with Tastemakers
As noted above, Etsy does still have a very intimate atmosphere, more of a community than solely a sales market. Getting your brand in the hands of someone who has a following, such as a crafty blogger or reviewer, can help you get more word-of-mouth sales. Send samples to those who regularly address your specific audience.
Don’t Neglect Classic Marketing Tools
Treat your Etsy shop like any other shop. Collect email addresses and send out e-newsletters to your clients. Promote discounts, offer free gifts, or create a giveaway for your newsletter recipients as a way to keep them around. These are classic marketing tools used by corporations all over the world. Check out our post on tactics to supercharge your email marketing.
Focus on Customer Service
If there is one thing that will get more word-of-mouth sales than anything else, it’s great customer service. That doesn’t mean you have to give away product or let unhappy customers walk all over you. But it does mean going above and beyond to stay in communication during the sales and shipping process, and having fair and clearly communicated guidelines for orders that aren’t satisfactory.
In order to get traffic from Etsy browsers, you need to be showing up on the front page. And the only way to do that is to post new items. Some of the most successful Etsy shops post new items daily, and have found this to be the best model for driving sales.
Define Your Niche Early
Etsy runs on the idea that every seller is filling a niche that is impossible to find elsewhere. Defining what need your shop fills right away is important for your branding. It will also help you identify which product or product line you should focus on the most.
Quality is King
Etsy may have its roots in a crafty, home-based business model. But customers browsing the site expect to see better quality than they can get at big name stores. The idea is that if a person has the time to devote to working on a piece of art from home, the piece should reflect that devotion – rather than a product being created in a warehouse.
Brand Your Packaging
Just because you are a home-based business does not mean you shouldn’t present yourself as a professional. The packaging is the first physical introduction your clients have to your products. Use branded packaging materials and take pride in the presentation to really get your name stuck in their minds.
Sell an Experience or a Lifestyle, Not a Product
It’s hard to say that you’re selling the solution to a problem when you make earrings, for example. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t offering something very important. Don’t make your listing about the earrings – take photos and write a description that sells the lifestyle or experiences the owner of those earrings could have.
Use Social Media Wisely
As a one-person show, you can’t devote your time to every social media platform that exists. However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore it altogether. It’s better to go for depth, not breadth, when it comes to creating a social media profile for your Etsy shop. Choose one or two preferred platforms and devote the time to building audiences there. Instagram is popular because it focuses on pictures, but Twitter is also popular for Etsy sellers because of the micro format.
Do Research on the Competition
Just like any other start up business out there, you need to know what your competition is succeeding with, and what’s not working for them. Look for Etsy shops that are doing well in your niche, or nearby, and ask yourself what is working for them, if they sell items like yours, and what they offer that attracts buyers, such as special selections or unique sets.
Choose the Right Price Rates
In order to know how much to charge for your products, you need two things: research on the current market, and a sales target. When you know what your sales target is, you may find that the competition is priced too low for you to reach your goals. You don’t have to necessarily lower your prices – look for ways to make it worth it, with better photography, marketing, and branding.
Personalize Your Shop
Be sure that your shop is well branded, with specific colors, logo, title banner, and anything else you need to put your stamp on every page within your shop. You need your customers to recognize you.
Love Your Products
Finally, with a community-based sales market like Etsy, buyers are hunting for that personal connection that convinces them to love an item. If you have a passion for your products, that will translate to the buyer, and they’ll be more inclined to fall in love with your products as well.
Put these 15 strategies into action to supercharge your Etsy store growth.